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LGBT Advocates Hold Secret Emergency Meeting on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' as Defense Dept. Considers 'Separate But Equal' Soldier Status

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen will both testify in upcoming hearings on the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', Politico reports. Said Gates: "We're discussing the timing of it with the committee. Both the chairman and I will testify."

There's troubling information in a report on the intensification of talks over the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal today in the NYT:

Dadt Despite the uncertainty of timing, another military official said that the Department of Defense was beginning to look at the practical implications of a repeal — for example, whether it would be necessary to change shower facilities and locker rooms because of privacy concerns, whether to ban public displays of affection on military bases and what to do about troops who are stationed or make port calls in nations that outlaw homosexuality.

Also, the memo to the Joint Chiefs which was "leaked" yesterday calling for holding off on a repeal was not just a memo, it was a draft proposal.

Americablog notes: "It's disturbing that the Pentagon is even talking about this, first of all because gays and lesbians are already in the Pentagon's showers and barracks. So this is a non-issue. The fact that the Pentagon doesn't realize this is simply bizarre. Second, why are we still talking about showers - what is this, 1993? And third, Barack Obama's Pentagon is actually discussing whether an African-American president should endorse the "separate but equal" segregation of a minority? Seriously?"

Kerry Eleveld reports on a secret emergency DADT meeting attended by 20-25 LGBT advocates at Human Rights Campaign headquarters on Monday:

The two-hour long meeting was unusual in that it assembled the advisers to major LGBT political donors from outside the Beltway such as Tim Gill, Jon Stryker and David Bohnett alongside DC-based lobby groups such as HRC, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the Center for American Progress, and The Palm Center as well as lobbyists with ties to the White House and Congress.

Attendees reported that "strong signals" and threats of "repercussions" had been sent to the White House. Others reported that they had been guaranteed DADT was a top priority for Obama. Some were concerned that top-level staff in the White House was lacking an LGBT power broker.

Sources also indicated the ball is really in the White House’s court at this juncture. “They will be the ones who tell us how they’re going to package this,” said one source.

Those options might include: the President and the Pentagon recommending that the policy change be included in the Department of Defense authorization bill that comes out of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees; amending repeal to the Defense funding bill once it has been reported out of committee; passing stand-alone repeal legislation in both chambers; or tabling the issue for a later date.

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Comments

  1. My Dog! Seperate showers and locker rooms? If they are that afraid of gays, who really are the real pansies here? It's laughable.

    Posted by: Tonic | Jan 15, 2010 10:51:51 AM


  2. Are our military leaders REALLY this stupid? If so, no wonder we're not winning in Afghanistan.

    Good lord, people...there are OTHER countries in this world besides the US and some of these OTHER countries have integrated gay and lesbian men and women into their armed forces...without worrying about shower stalls and ports of call. Give me a f*(#ing break...why not just come out as a homophobe instead of using all this ridiculous posturing over showerstalls...???

    My mind boggles over the time, money, and energy wasted of what will inevitably will be pretty much a non-event when it does happen.

    Posted by: Taylor | Jan 15, 2010 10:56:24 AM


  3. Why is it that these "straights" are always so titillated by showers?

    Posted by: Tweety | Jan 15, 2010 11:01:04 AM


  4. It's 1993 all over again! When are we going to stop being the "abused wife" to the Democrats?

    Posted by: major707 | Jan 15, 2010 11:21:49 AM


  5. here we go again the obama administration our fierce advocates show their true colors
    who is better to believe Colin Powell who won a war or mullen who is losing two. mullen seems more worried about who showers where than beating the taliban or alqaida

    Posted by: walter | Jan 15, 2010 12:12:21 PM


  6. Most of what's being said is utter and complete nonsense... except for this part:

    what to do about troops who are stationed or make port calls in nations that outlaw homosexuality

    That is a very real and genuine concern. We've seen the way gay people are treated in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, etc. There does need to be some consideration, IN A GOOD WAY, regarding how the military will protect its soldiers in those countries.

    the rest? Agreed, it's very 1993. Al over again. This is just not boding well. *sigh*

    Posted by: DR | Jan 15, 2010 12:27:39 PM


  7. I really don't blame gay soldiers if they just quit the military. I'd be so sick of being banned from my own livelihood, benefits, and reality. I know it's not a good attitude, but seriously, a natural reaction it: a "freedom-loving, progressive" country that doesn't want us to participate can just shove it.

    Posted by: X | Jan 15, 2010 1:06:45 PM


  8. Since when has American - or for that matter French and British - soldiers obeyed the laws of the countries they were occupying?

    Iraq anyone?

    Afghanistan?

    Vietnam?

    Korea?

    China?

    Egypt?

    Algeria?

    Ivory Coast?

    Seems like local customs do not bother the U.S. military or its allies that much. This would only be a problem if they actually followed the rules.

    Which they don't.

    Posted by: John | Jan 15, 2010 1:32:38 PM


  9. What a lot of nonsense, they need only look over their northern border to see how full integration works. Gays have served openly in the Canadian Forces for 20 years. At the time the policy was enacted I asked a friend who was a lieutenant commander in the reserve navy if it would make any difference. He said, gays had been serving for years, it just hadn't been public policy. He said women had been serving for years and the forces already had strong policies on harassment and appropriate behaviour on base and on ships.
    We have made port calls and done peacekeeping and are fighting in Afghanistan today and this has never been an issue. Quit being so lilly-livered and get on with it.

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 15, 2010 3:35:53 PM


  10. How about one set of showers for soldiers, gay and straight, and another for wusses who can bear anyone looking at their junk?

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 15, 2010 6:24:38 PM


  11. i believe that "african-american president" has already supported "separate but equal" programs in the form of civil unions.

    Posted by: grimwig | Jan 17, 2010 9:32:53 AM


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